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Circuit Rejects Utah Ban On Payroll Contributions

DENVER (CN) - The 10th Circuit has struck down a Utah law barring state or local employers from withholding voluntary political contributions from employee paychecks.

Five labor unions challenged the Utah Voluntary Contributions Act, claiming it violates the First Amendment by restricting public employees' right to political speech.

The appeals court held that the Act is "unconstitutional as applied to municipalities, counties, school districts and other local employers.

Generally, the only accepted reason for contribution limits has been the government's interest in fighting political corruption, the court noted,adding, "Utah has shown no such risk of corruption here, and its interest in a politically neutral workplace is hardly of comparable importance." See ruling.

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